In addition to online, asynchronous courses that are offered through education platforms such as Edmentum, Imagine Learning, and eDynamic Learning, synchronous, video-conferencing courses are another option for students looking for increased learning opportunities. Classes such as College Sports Management, College Music Appreciation and Music Theory, Pyschology, Sociology, and French 3, to name a few. What exactly are video conferencing courses, and what are all of their advantages?
Synchronous video conferencing courses are where students and instructors participate in real-time through video calls. These video calls are oftentimes through Zoom or Micrsoft Teams Video Calls, but can be hosted on additional platforms as well. Some of the advantages include:
1. Real-time Interaction: Synchronous video conferencing allows for immediate and direct interaction between students and instructors. Participants can ask questions, seek clarification, and engage in discussions just as they would in a traditional classroom setting.
2. Enhanced Engagement: The live nature of synchronous video conferencing helps maintain student engagement. The visual and auditory components of video conferencing can provide a more immersive learning experience compared to asynchronous methods.
3. Collaboration and Group Work: Synchronous video conferencing enables students to collaborate with their peers on group projects, discussions, and activities in real time. This fosters teamwork, encourages collective problem-solving, and promotes social interaction among students.
4. Personalized Feedback: Instructors can provide immediate feedback during synchronous sessions, addressing questions or concerns in real time. This timely feedback can enhance student understanding and facilitate the learning process.
5. Structured Learning Environment: Synchronous video conferencing courses often follow a set schedule, which helps students establish a routine and maintain discipline in their studies. The structured format can promote time management skills and create a sense of accountability.
6. Simulates Traditional Classroom Experience: Synchronous video conferencing can closely replicate the experience of a physical classroom. It allows for face-to-face interaction, non-verbal cues, and a shared sense of community, fostering a more personal connection among students and instructors.
7. Accessible and Inclusive: Synchronous video conferencing can provide access to education for students who may not have the means to attend physical classes. It eliminates geographical barriers, allowing students from different locations to participate in the same course, fostering inclusivity and diversity. It also increases opportunities for students to take courses that their school otherwise wouldn’t be able to offer.
Scheduling of video conferencing courses for the 2023-2024 school is ongoing. If this sounds like something your students would benefit from, you want to know more about how it works, offer a course from your district, or inquire about current offerings, please reach out to Justin Shumaker at Justin_Shumaker@caboces.org for more information.
By: Justin Shumaker, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Teachers throughout the CABOCES region were given the opportunity during the 2022-2023 school year to attend seminars designed to support and assist teachers who were either new to the profession or new to a district. This Collaborative Learning Community called New Teacher Academy was divided into two cohorts, one for each of our two counties in our region. Each cohort met three times during the school year separately. Then, on May 31st both cohorts combined to spend the day together at the CTE center in Olean celebrating the completion of their collaborative learning through the past school year.
On behalf of the New Teacher Academy team, best wishes to all of you as you move forward in your career. May the relationships that were built and the skills that were developed during this time assist you in becoming the best educators you can be.
By: Rob Griffith, CA BOCES Professional Development
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